Best Software for Small Business Exporters in 2022

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Today there are many new cloud-based software solutions for export companies to streamline their export processes, increase visibility, allow teams to work remotely and to grow their export sales.

It’s also never been easier and cheaper to upgrade or change to new systems. Nowadays, SME businesses have access to more powerful tools than ever before, at a fraction of the price of traditional Enterprise software. So with cost of change and adoption being low, the only thing in your way is finding the right software for your business.

We’ve put together a list of recommended software for export companies that you can use to streamline your company’s procedures, allow your teams to work remotely or to grow your sales. 

Table of Contents:

The Best Export Operations Software

All-In-One Export Documentation Software

Manage & streamline your global trade sales, shipments & export documentation in one place, with features to eliminate data re-entry and help you create perfect sales & shipping documents up to 80% faster. 

IncoDocs Free Export Documentation Software

IncoDocs is designed for SME exporters to streamline the creation of sales and export documentation used in international trade. Using IncoDocs, exporters eliminate manual data re-entry and create compliant export documentation to avoid delays, fines and missed shipments.

Export teams are joined in 1 shared workspace to create professional compliant documentation, eliminate data re-entry and gain visibility into export operations. Users can easily modify the layout of document templates and save multiple versions of templates to suit their business.

Digital signatures and stamps allow export teams to have a paperless process by eliminating the manual print, sign, scan, upload process to allow teams to work remotely. IncoDocs have 1 click integrations with Xero and QuickBooks cloud accounting, and can be integrated with your ERP, TMS and/or other back-end systems via API to automate document creation and more. 

Pricing:  Free plan, upgrade as you grow.

Truck & Container Loading Software

Streamline load planning and determine the most cost-effective utilization of truck & container space to reduce freight costs.

EasyCargo provides a 3D visualization to allow shippers to maximize loading space, ensure safe load distribution and reduce shipping costs when loading shipping containers and trucks.

The software allows shippers to save and insert packages that can be individually rotated and adjusted so that shippers maximize the number of products that are loaded into shipping containers to minimize transport costs.

The cloud based software supports various types of container and truck/trailer sizes. Loading plans can easily be shared to 3rd parties and API integrations are available.

Pricing:  Free Trial, One-Day ticket, Monthly or Annual Subscriptions.

Global Ship Tracking Intelligence Software

Get real-time information on the movements of ships and view the current location of ships in harbours and ports.

Marine Traffic is tracking software for the world’s marine vessel data. Marine Traffic displays near real time positioning of all types of ships and yachts worldwide. The software is connected to the largest network of Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers to provide vessel positioning on a global map.

Marine Traffic enables users to monitor, review, analyze and plan shipping operations by providing information for a vessel or a port at a global level to provide the shipping, trade and logistics industries with actionable insights into shipping activity. Users can create and track their own ‘fleet’ of vessels to get instant insight and notifications of important shipping activity.

Pricing:  Free tier account, upgrade as you grow, API pricing.

Supplier Sourcing & ESG Supply Chain Intelligence Platform

Qualify and discover sustainability-focused suppliers fast with verified insights & ESG data

Sourcing playground is a specialist in supply chain insights for sourcing. The software allows buyers to streamline supplier sourcing with verified data insights. Sourcing Playground provides a responsible and sustainable sourcing solution that analyzes supply chains at an ESG level by providing in depth pre-vetting to rapidly assess a supplier’s suitability.

Pricing:  No free trial. Book a call for a demo.

Business Risk Intelligence Platform for the Recycling Industry

Tradefox simplifies due diligence and brings transparency to International Trade in the recycling industry.

Tradefox is a unique platform that allows buyers, sellers and trading companies in the recycling industry to gain unique insights and visibility into recycling company operations globally. The software enables B2B businesses to find the right companies and people to do business with, by providing data and insights into a potential trading partner’s operations and reputation in the market.

The Tradefox community provide and view feedback, report unfair trading behavior and allows users to receive instant notifications on a partner’s unfair trading practices.

Pricing:  Free tier account, upgrade as you grow

Cloud Accounting Software

Xero is a cloud-based small business accounting software with tools for managing invoicing, bank reconciliation, inventory, purchasing, expenses & more.

Xero Accounting Software

Xero is cloud based software that allow SME businesses to manage their business accounts. Businesses use Xero to send local invoices & purchase orders, reconcile bank transactions and manage local tax and accounting obligations.

The Xero App Store provides a large range of integrations to seamlessly integrate with many other software systems to eliminate data re-entry.

Pricing:  Free Trial, paid plans upgrade as you grow.

Workplace Messaging & Collaboration Platform

Slack makes it easy for teams to communicate & collaborate in real-time with instant messaging, video calls and integrations with all your favourite work apps.

Slack is a famously popular chat software which is so intuitive and useful it has been said to the “email killer”. Slack allows messages to be sent instantly and stored centrally in an easily searchable archive. It also allows real-time conversations between multiple employees, which keeps everyone in the loop. On top of that, they provide an opportunity to schedule reminders and tasks, which helps keep everyone on track.

Pricing: Free Trial, Free tier account, upgrade as you grow.

Video Conferencing Software

Tradefox simplifies due diligence and brings transparency to International Trade in the recycling industry.

Zoom has solidified itself over the years an industry leading solution for video calls and conferencing. Sessions are easy to setup and boast end-to-end encryption, role-based user security, and easy-to-use screen sharing and collaboration tools. Video conferencing is a great way to maintain communication within your teams and is a great tool to enable remote work.

Pricing: Free Trial, Free tier account, upgrade as you grow.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Hubspot CRM not only manages your contacts, but also your sales, pipeline, digital marketing and lead nurturing too.

Hubspot CRM Software

Hubspot’s CRM platform has all the tools and integrations needed for marketing, sales, content management and customer service. Each of Hubspot’s products can be used individually or together if needed, to streamline sales and marketing processes for businesses of all sizes.

If you’re looking to grow your sales starting with a simple to use CRM, Hubspot will help you to improve your outreach and sales management process to grow your exports.

Pricing: Free CRM, Paid add on features.

Online Workflow Automation Tool

Zapier allows you to connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration

Zapier Workflow Automation Software

Zapier provides a powerful software platform that allows users to streamline and automate tasks of all types through no-code integration tools. Using Zapier, users can easily connect integrations between over 5000 apps, to automate your business processes.

Pricing: Free plan, upgrade as you grow.

Free Online Graphic Design Tool

Canva makes it easy to create professional looking social media posts, business cards, presentations, posters, videos, logos and more.

Canva Free Online Graphic Design Tool

Canva provide easy to use software that makes it easy for teams to create professional designs together. Users won’t need to learn complex design tools to be able to provide quality design files to use for sales, marketing and other areas of their business. Canva provide a template gallery with thousand’s of templates to get started with a design, for anything. Canva will be an invaluable tool to allow teams to improve sales and marketing functions to grow their exports.

Pricing: Free plan, upgrade as you grow.

Free Video Creation & Editing Software

Clipchamp is an online video editor designed to make video creation easy for everyone, even for those with no prior editing experience

Clipchamp Free Video Editing Software

Clipchamp provide easy to use video editing software, all within the browser. Their software makes it easy for teams to create professional quality videos in multiple formats and includes amazing compression technology to provide smaller size video files.

Clipchamp provide a stock library to choose from a large selection of images and videos to use in your designs. Users won’t need to learn complex traditional video editing tools to be able to create quality video files. If you’re looking to improve your sales and marketing, Clipchamp will be an invaluable tool to grow your business and brand Internationally.

Pricing: Free plan, upgrade as you grow.

What is the best free export documentation software?

If you’re just getting started in global trade and are looking for a free tool to help streamline the documentation process and ensure everything is complaint, the best free export documentation software is IncoDocs. You only need to pay for IncoDocs if you need to create more than 10 documents per month or want to have more than 1 user in your workspace and subscriptions can be either monthly or annual for a further 20% discount.

How can software improve my import/export business?

Technology exists to make our lives easier and the right software tools can help your business drive sales & improve internal operations, communications, reporting and more. Here are some of the ways that software can help import your import/export business:

  • Eliminate costly re-entry errors that lead to unnecessary delays, fines and missed shipments
  • Automate daily maintenance tasks and double-handling between systems to free up resources
  • Get actionable reporting insights into all aspects of your business, from sales through to operations
  • Create a paperless process to reduce costs and enable remote working if needed
  • Connect teams to a shared workspace for greater visibility into processes and operations
  • Standardize & simplify work processes for better productivity & faster onboarding of new hires.
  • Integrate software systems together, to automate tasks and data entry
  • Improve company branding to maintain existing customers and help to outreach to new clients

What should I consider when purchasing software solutions for my import/export business?

Choosing the right software depends on entirely on your business and your goals. That being said, there are 4 main things that are worth taking into account when considering which software is best for your export business:

1. Your Business Goals

Before choosing the right software for your export business, you must clearly understand what it is that you are wanting to improve or streamline. Are you wanting to get more visibility into your export operations? Free up resources by automating manual procedures? Or are you looking to go paperless to enable your team to work more efficiently from anywhere?

Every software offering will have its own unique set of features that may be able to provide solutions to your problems, so write down your business goals first, before moving on to testing software to see how it can help you achieve your goals. 

2. Ease-of-use & Change Management

Implementing a new solution within your organization should make things easier for all people that are involved in the process and some systems make this process smoother than others. Older software systems for example are often more difficult to pickup & learn and often require training and a lot of manual setup. More modern cloud solutions however are typically much easier to learn and use and have built in features to make migrating systems as quick and painless as possible. 

You should consider the following: 

  • Is the new export software intuitive and easy to learn? 
  • How much time will it take for each team member to understand the new process and confidently make the switch to the new software? 
  • How long will it take to train new employees to use the new software?
 

We strongly recommend booking a demo to get a guided tour of the software and you’ll also be able to talk to a sales representative and ask them the questions about the above points.

3. Scalability & Flexibility

Most businesses require multiple tools to run different sections of their business. Along with that, exporters often work with customers, partners and supply chain partners to communicate important information and data. It is therefore important that your software can be easily integrated with your tools to help you automate workflows, eliminate double-handling and scale your business without growing your manual workload. 

You should consider the following:

  • Does the software have out-of-the-box integrations with the tools you use?
  • Does the software have a well-documented API (application programming interace) to allow you to integrate with any system, being your ERP, TMS or even legacy back-end systems. 
 

Integrating your tools helps keep everything in sync and can do alot of the heavy lifting for you through automation, allowing your business to scale without all the growing pains. 

4. Price

When it comes to evaluating the pricing of software, you should have a good understanding of the value that it can provide to your business. At their core, software tools should be helping your business either save money (by saving you time & cutting operational costs) or helping you make more money (by growing your sales & revenue). 

You should consider the following:

  • Does the software require a monthly or annual subscription, or is it based on a transactional model?
  • Will you be required to upgrade as you scale your business?
  • Does the import export software allow you to sign up to a free trial period?
 

It’s always best to be able to test the new software before you commit to implementing it in your process. Most cloud software allow you to instantly sign up to a trial, or provide a cut-down free tier so that someone in your team can test it alongside your current processes to understand exactly what value it can bring to your business.

If your business could benefit from streamlining your sales and export documentation, you can schedule a call with IncoDocs to discuss how you can improve your export operations.

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